The Nanfang / Blog

Amid Sales Decline, KFC Transforms Menu for Chinese Tastes

Posted: 10/16/2014 6:39 pm

kfc new menu chinaKFC restaurants in China are looking to turn their fortunes around after a crippling food scandal broke out earlier this year. Sales are down 14 percent since food supplier Husi Foods made headlines for supplying expired meat to western fast food restaurants, namely McDonald’s.

KFC plans to win customers back by unveiling a new menu, one that will look a lot more comfortable to Chinese customers.

This isn’t the first time that KFC has taken a more Chinese approach to its menu. When people visit from western countries, they might be shocked to find congee, fried dough sticks, and soy milk alongside that ubiquitous Big Crunch Combo.

All three new menu items feature chicken meat that have all been seasoned with rice wine, and are served with corn and pea niblets with mushrooms. Here they are:

New Orleans BBQ Chicken Leg Rice (left) and Spicy Chicken Rice

kfc new menu chinaTeriyaki Chicken Chop Rice

kfc new menu china

KFC has had a lot of success in China because it has adapted well to the local market. It has taken the exact opposite approach of Subway, which made no changes at all and is still struggling in the country.

[h/t Rocket News

Photos: kfc china


Two People Sentenced to Death for Shandong McDonald’s Cult Killing

Posted: 10/13/2014 12:07 pm

shandong cult convictions A brutal crime that shocked the nation has finally come to a conclusion as five members of an alleged cult involved in the beating death of a woman at a Shandong McDonald’s restaurant have been convicted.

READ: Woman Beaten to Death at McDonald’s for
Refusing to Give Her Phone Number

A Yantai middle court passed down the sentences. Two of the members, Zhang Fan and Zhang Lidong, were sentenced to death. Lu Yingchun was sentenced to life in prison, while Zhang Hang and Zhang Qiaolian were given prison sentences of ten years and seven years, respectively. A sixth person involved in the crime is underaged and was not put on trial.

mcdonalds attack shandong zhaoyuan cult religious restaurant

The group of six, of which includes five members of the Zhang family, belong to the religious group “Church of the Almighty God”, labelled by the Chinese press as an “evil cult”.

On May 28, they had gone to a Zhaoyuan McDonald’s restaurant looking for phone numbers of possible new recruits. When a woman named Wu refused, Zhang Fan repeatedly beat her with a broomstick, calling her a “demon” while the rest of the group watched.

READ: McDonald’s Cult Leader Gets TV Interview,
More Details of Deadly Attack Emerge

When police arrived at the scene, Zhang Fan was kicking at Wu’s body as his son kept striking her head.

In defiance of the convictions, Zhang Fan, Zhang Lidong, and Lu Ying all say they are not guilty, claiming they were simply acting in self-defense.

mcdonalds attack religious cult restaurant shandong zhaoyuanZhang Lidong said in an earlier interview that his innocence comes from his religious convictions:

Reporter: Don’t you have any consideration for the law?

Zhang Lidong: None at all.

Reporter: Aren’t you afraid of the law?

Zhang Lidong: No, because I believe in God.

After the conviction, the family of the victim decided to drop a RMB 4 million civil suit against the group.

China is officially an atheist state that tolerates many religions, except when it comes to its own Party members. However, a campaign against “evil cults” has intensified in recent years.


Photos: DV Live, Beijing Youth Report


[Surveillance Video] When a Simple BBQ Dinner Goes Horribly Wrong…

Posted: 09/4/2014 9:39 am

hot pot fire Indoor barbecue is a favorite for many people in China. However, diners should be aware the hidden dangers of these restaurants that use open flames or hot coals to cook meat.

Two Wenzhou university students cut short their celebrations of the new school year when their waitress inadvertently started a huge fire, reports ZJ News.

Xiaoqian and Xiaoqing, both 20 twenty years-old, were having a reunion dinner at the “Good Day” barbecue buffet restaurant in Wenzhou, Zhejiang when their waitress, Xiaoshan, came to refuel the fire by pouring alcohol on it.

hot pot fire

When flames suddenly shot out and scared her, Xiaoshan dropped the container of alcohol which fell onto Xiaoqian, causing her entire body to catch fire.

Xiaoshan and Xiaoqing both scurried from the table, and another diner came to Xiaoqian’s aid, trying to extinguish the flames with a shirt.

Xiaoqian was the most severely injured from the incident. She is now described in serious condition with life-threatening injuries, and has since been transferred to a hospital in Hangzhou. She is described by a doctor as never likely to be able to return to university.

hot pot fire

Xiaoqing received face and neck burn injuries from the incident.

Of the three, Xiaoshan had the least severe injuries with minor burns to her right hand and both knees. She can be discharged from the hospital soon.

Xiaoshan, 18 years-old and originally from Guizhou, had only been working at the Good Day restaurant for a month before this happened. You can watch surveillance video of below.

Photos: CCTV


Father Takes Baby To Pee Into Dirty Dishes at Anhui Restaurant

Posted: 09/2/2014 8:00 am

anhui baby pee restaurant dishes

There appears to be no shortage of public places babies and children will drop their drawers when nature calls. Yet, as far as we know, even this is a new one.

READ: Kitchen Confidential: Expose Details Beijing Restaurant’s Horrific Hygiene

According to the Anhui Economic Report, a father was photographed holding up his baby to relieve itself into a bucket full of dirty dishes at a waiter’s station in a restaurant in Hefei, Anhui Province.

After the photo was published on Weibo, the father was criticized online for letting his baby do what, apparently, is otherwise acceptable behavior for babies and children on subwayssubway stations, airplanes, and most any other public place with a concrete floor, a linoleum tile, or a grassy pitch. Netizens were upset at his lack of manners and for not understanding that those dirty dishes are going to be used again one day, should they ever become clean.

anhui baby pee restaurant dishes

A reporter tracked down a person named Wu who had posted the picture. According to Wu, the incident occurred at 8:40pm on August 30 at a branch of the popular Bifengtang restaurant chain. Wu had posted the photograph because he was upset at the lack of manners displayed by the father.

READ: China’s Shrink-Wrapped Eating Utensils Are Not As Clean As You Think

As it turns out, the mother of the baby contacted Wu on his Weibo account. She apologized on behalf of the father and explained that the baby was in a rush, that it wasn’t intentional, and for everyone to please excuse the incident. This was good enough for Wu, who took down the photograph.

A worker for Bifengtang confirmed that the restaurant in the picture is indeed theirs, and are said to be performing their own investigation into the incident.


Photo: Global Times


1cm-Long Pig’s Tooth Ends Up in Guangzhou Woman’s Lunch

Posted: 08/15/2014 9:07 am

The pig tooth found in A Ming’s lunch take-out (right)

In addition to the long list of hair, bugs, flies and even condoms found in meals while splurging on street food, a pig tooth is the latest free addition that came with a cheap lunch take-out.

A woman in Guangzhou found the chomper in her lunch from a local restaurant, reported Guangzhou Daily on August 14.

The woman, named Ah Ming, ordered take-out for pork ribs and egg-wrapped rice from a nearby diner in Zhujiang New City. After just a few bites, Ah Ming felt a twinge in her mouth, and spitted out a suspicious “hard material” only to find it was an intact gross-looking tooth.

Several of Ah Ming’s lunch pals vomited at the sight of this 1cm-long tooth that they suspected to be human. Ah Ming sent the tooth to a nearby dental clinic and found that it was a in fact a pig’s tooth.

The owner of the diner explained that the tooth might have accidently dropped into the dish while chopping the meat. Nonetheless, they refunded Ah Ming’s cost for lunch.

Photos: Guangzhou Daily


Kitchen Confidential: Expose Details Beijing Restaurant’s Horrific Hygiene

Posted: 07/29/2014 11:42 am

hanlixuan restaurantAs consumers become more shocked about the food safety situation in China, they may not want to know how some restaurants handle their food.

report by Beijing News details what two reporters witnessed while working undercover at the famous Beijing barbecue restaurant chain Hanlixuan.  It can only be described as a consumer’s worst nightmare.

Two journalists applied to work at the Changping, Beijing location of Hanlixuan as a waiter and a cook’s apprentice. Both were both immediately accepted in a hiring process that only took only three minutes. A certificate of health was waived for the two journalists and for all Hailixuan employees despite it being a mandatory part of operating a restaurant.

hanlixuan restaurant undercover food safety unhygienic

Unhygienic and messy conditions in the kitchen.

However, as the two undercover journalists discovered, the horrors of Hanlixuan restaurant would only begin to be revealed.

The Beijing News alleges that Hailixuan makes it a restaurant policy to reuse uneaten food in order to re-serve it to other paying customers. One of the reporters describes a senior waitstaff named Li who put aside uneaten food when clearing dishes. When the lunch hour rush is over and all customers have left the restaurant, Li sorted ten dishes of uneaten food before returning it to the kitchen to be served again.

hanlixuan restaurant undercover food safety unhygienic

Uneaten squid that is put on a counter, and later taken to the back only to be re-served to customers again.

An apprentice says he was told:

This is leftover food; anything that hasn’t been used is sent back to the kitchen. When it’s taken to the front of the restaurant again, no customers will suspect anything.

The kitchen is described as “very dirty” with a foul smell and always covered in swill water. On July 23, the reporter masquerading as a kitchen apprentice noticed there was a dead fish lying on the ground. Because no one took care of it, the fish was kicked around by wait staff when it got in their way until it finally found a resting place beside the garbage can.

hanlixuan restaurant undercover food safety unhygienic

A dead fish in the kitchen finds a resting place after being kicked around before cut up and served to customers.

When the undercover reporter asserted that no one would want to eat such a thing, he was told:

Who says no one will eat it? Once we prepare and marinade it, it will once again look fine. Don’t worry about it; you just do your job and cut vegetables.

The fish was finally prepared later that day and served to customers during evening dinner. As with squid that has started to smell, it was mixed with onions and condiments so that customers won’t be able to tell any difference.

hanlixuan restaurant undercover food safety unhygienic

A restaurant worker prepares uneaten food to be re-served to new customers.

Even something as basic as simple hygiene was also ignored at Hanlixuan. When the undercover reporter said he needed to wash his hands before being taught how to handle food, he was told by the cook:

You don’t need to wash your hands. There’s no need.

All of these allegations made by Beijing News are likewise confirmed by former Hanlixuan employee Chen Wen (a pseudonym), who had previously made allegations against the barbecue restaurant chain online.

hanlixuan restaurant undercover food safety unhygienic

Meat about to be re-processed for further consumption.

Photos: MSNxooob


Almost Nothing Left on the Menu at McDonald’s in Beijing

Posted: 07/28/2014 3:06 pm

beijing mcdonalds menu retracted food safety scandal husi foodsMcDonald’s remains open in Beijing these days, but there isn’t much on the menu. Nearly everything has been suspended from sale in the wake of the Husi Food expired meat scandal, reports BJ News. A total of 13 McDonald’s food items are currently not available for sale including all hamburgers, Chicken McNuggets, and chicken wings.

So what’s left, if you need your McDonald’s fix? Filet O’Fish sandwiches, for one. An employee details what else remains on the menu:

Right now, all we have for sale are drinks, ice cream and French fries. You can go next door to our coffee outlet to order cakes and coffee.

A representative for McDonald’s explains that the menu restrictions are temporary and all your favorite burgers will soon return. In the meantime, however, there’s been an unsurprising drop in the number of customers.

Due to the inspections made by government officials that first exposed Husi Food for supplying foreign fast food chains in China with expired meat products, the Shanghai Food and Drug Inspection Bureau has confiscated a total of 144.1 tons of food. This includes 18 tons of Chicken McNuggets, 78.1 tons of smoked meat patties, and 48 tons of beef patties.

On July 27 the parent company of Husi Food, OSI Group, recalled its food products and installed a new team overseeing its China operations.

beijing mcdonalds menu retracted food safety scandal husi foods


Photos: BJ News, People’s Daily


“Ghost Mall” No More, Dongguan Behemoth Becomes Culinary Paradise

Posted: 07/8/2014 8:59 am

south china mall When you’re in a big mall in China, you’ve likely said, “I’m hungry. Let’s go to the food court and see what restaurants they have.” Somebody has finally taken that concept and made an entire mall out of it

The newly-renovated South China Mall in Dongguan, long known for being an empty, abandoned behemoth, is once again a commercial success, having served 80,000 customers on June 1. However, it’s recent success is in defiance of its humble beginnings as a white elephant.

Having opened to grand fanfare in 2005, what had once been dubbed “the world’s largest mall” was bereft of customers just a year later as stores abandoned their leases. For seven years, the South China Mall remained largely deserted of any life as its own existence remained a legacy to its failure.

READ: Dongguan’s “Ghost Mall”

This year, however, the South China Mall got a new lease on life. Gao Tiechuan, president of the the South China Mall responsible for its restructuring, changed it from a US-styled mall to one that caters to Chinese interests, reports Want China Times. Namely, the focus was put on food offerings rather than clothing shops.

Gao scaled back the scope of the mall to attract local diners instead of trying to cater to the entire Pearl River Delta. Besides hosting branches of popular local restaurant franchises, the mall now offers more affordable domestic brands to attract budget-minded clientele.

The RMB 200 million (US$32 million) renovation also did away with previous mall fixtures like a fountain and a bridge that only got in the way of the crowds.

Now brimming with shoppers, the South China Mall is operating on a customer strategy whereby 40% of sales are from its restaurants, and 30 percent are from “experience stores”. In this new set-up, traditional retailers only account for 30% of the mall’s sales.

Photos: South China Mall


People’s Daily Blames Jinan Restaurant Closures on Local Government

Posted: 07/5/2014 11:07 pm

jinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulationA few days ago, The Nanfang brought you the curious story of hundreds of restaurants closing en masse in Jinan, Shandong province on the same day a national-level municipal health check was to be held in the city. We figured this would impact the faith Jinan folk have in their restaurants, and it turns out the People’s Daily Online agrees.

But there is a twist to the story. The restaurants, it turns out, probably didn’t close on their own volition. It was actually in response to a local government directive.

Here’s their commentary on the Jinan story:

‘Hygiene Initiative’ is a Farce
Against the City Hygiene Initiative, [the local government of] Jinan has ordered hundreds of restaurants to close. This has caused great inconvenience to city residents as well as attracting a lot of criticism. The Hygiene Initiative is an idea; however, the essence behind it is [as formless and insubstantial] as the art movement of Formalism. How can it bring about lasting reform to people’s perspectives on the environment? Through their governing, the new leaders of the current administration repeatedly emphasize not to reap [personal rewards] in the name of China nor to delight in false actions. Please tell us, corresponding Jinan departments: have these words gotten into your heads?

The People’s Daily Online stops short of directly accusing the government of ordering the closures, but treads awfully close. The conjecture  is that the Jinan local government wanted to save itself from any possible risk of losing face on a national level. By not allowing any of its hundreds of restaurants to be evaluated, no Jinan restaurant could suffer the humiliation of being rated below standard, a shame that will come back to haunt the local government.

jinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulation


Photos: the Nanfang


Jinan Restaurants Snub Health Inspectors, Close En Masse Instead

Posted: 07/3/2014 11:45 am

jinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulationLooking for a good restaurant in Jinan in Shandong Province? You may want to reconsider as hundreds of restaurants there have closed rather than submit to health inspections, reported the People’s Daily.

On July 1, a “secret” national hygiene municipal inspection was to be carried out in Jinan on a vast scale.  One-thousand volunteers wearing armbands conferring their official status were sent to inspect all of the city’s restaurants. When the eateries found out about the supposed “secret” inspection, they closed up shop.

READ: Guangzhou Restaurants Busted for Adding Addictive
Poppy Powder to Food

Many of these pictures were taken at around 4pm, just before the dinner rush, and yet there are hardly any people around. We wish we could tell you at least one restaurant defied the trend and stayed open, but the report doesn’t mention any.

Apparently, some restaurants have been ordered to take down their signs because they don’t meet health regulations, presumably due to the improper disposal of garbage that the volunteers were still able to inspect from outside the premises. The businesses are apparently waiting for the health inspection period to wrap up so they can re-open.

jinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulationjinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulationjinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulation

READ: Poppy Opiate Used at Foshan Restaurant to Make Food “Tastier”

jinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulationjinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulationjinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulation

READ: Merchant Processes Dried Bamboo Shoots in Toilet

jinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulationjinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulationjinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulation

Here are some pictures of the volunteer health inspectors, seemingly left with little to do:

jinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulationjinan restaurant health check closed shandong national hygiene regulation



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